Thursday, October 15, 2009

Changing My Tune

I'm all for instant replay when it comes to hockey and football. The call has to be right (as evidenced by last night's 2nd goal by the Oilers). That being said, I was never one to think instant replay would work for baseball. The game is long enough already. You don't need managers challenging balls and strikes or close plays at a base. However, after seeing some monumental gaffes by the "guys in blue" during the first round of the playoffs I have to wonder if its time baseball expanded its replay system to determine more than whether or not a home run is fair or foul.

The most egregious call was in Game 2 of the Yankees-Twins series when Joe Mauer hit a flyball to left field that was clearly fair yet was called foul by an umpire standing no more than 15 feet away. How Phil Cuzzi could botch that call is beyond me. It wasn't even close. Add the fact that it appears a member of the Detroit Tigers was grazed by a pitch in the playoff game that the Twins won and it has started the debate. There were also numerous missed calls in the Colorado-Philly series.

Maybe it is time that Major League Baseball has a control center somewhere in which someone can watch the games and buzz the stadium in question if a play needs to be overturned. Maybe it just needs to happen in the playoffs. Human error is a major part of baseball and umpires are just as much to blame as the players. If its done right, maybe the sport needs to look at expanding its current system---even if its just for the playoffs.
Sports fans, what happened 20 years ago tonight? Wayne Gretzky returned to Edmonton as a member of the Los Angeles Kings and broke the record by Gordie Howe as he became the NHL's all time leading scorer. Gretz lifting a rebound past Bill Ranford in the last minute to break the record and send the game into overtime. He then scored in overtime to give the Kings a 5-4 win in what I'm sure was a bittersweet night for Edmonton hockey fans. I remember watching that game in Peace River. Part of me was hoping he would do it and another was hoping he would do it against the Flames. Gretzky finished with 2857 points. Will anyone break that record? I don't think Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will even come close. In case you are wondering, the NHL player right now who has the most points while still playing is Boston's Mark Recchi. He went into this season with 1442 points.
I'm not surprised to hear the Argos will be one of the teams playing a CFL regular season game in Moncton. Toronto will probably make more money from that home gate then they would at Rogers Centre. The question now is who do they play? I personally think its a no-brainer that it should be the Riders. Then again, the Rider Nation might invade Moncton to the point that no Maritimers get in and wouldn't that defeat the purpose.
Rob Vanstone asks the question today in "Robservations" as to whether or not the Riders and Bombers should play "The Banjo Bowl" game in Winnipeg on Thanksgiving Weekend much like the two teams always play here on Labour Day. I say NAHHHH! Doing that would also screw up the Calgary-Edmonton rivalry and the Toronto-Hamilton one. I guess you could have the Riders playing either BC or Montreal the week after, but I will respectfully disagree with Rob on this one. I haven't seen or heard anything of Rob since the Broncos went to 5-0. He's probably trying to find one of those Bronco uniforms they wore Sunday so he can proudly wear it (and be mocked by everyone around him) on game day.
One other thing. Theoren Fleury is making the rounds talking about his book and the demons that have haunted him, but you may want to listen to 800 CHAB's "The Heartland at Noon" today. Rob Carnie--someone who knows Theo quite well-- will be speaking with him about the book. I'm thinking with Fleury speaking back to the area that made him what he is that this might be the best interview he does and a professional like Carnie will handle it with extreme class and dignity. Rob is one of the hidden jewels out there when it comes to broadcasting.


Anonymous said...

That will not be broken. He was rolling up 200 point season for what 5 years in a row. Lemieux came close with one season that almost got there. If he never scored a goal he'd be the all time points leader with his assist totals. That to me is the most mind boggling of all his records.

Anonymous said...

Carnie is very good. I listen to CHAB quite a bit these days. Its better than two Regina AM stations that are out there.


Anonymous said...

No, No, NO when it comes to further instant replay in baseball. Games are monotonous enough now. Speed up the game, don't delay it further.

Thanks for the tip on Fleury being on CHAB. I'll be listening to that for sure. Theo's comfort factor with Rob should make for a very compelling interview.


Anonymous said...

Carnie was very classy, comforting and he handled the interview with compassion. If you were looking for deep conversation this was not the interview. Carnie was the play by play guy when Theo was with the Warriors, and it is just to close to home.

I know that Regina and Moose Jaw are not big city centres, but you would think that both of these cities would be a stop for the book tour.

Heck, I would probably of cut a deal with the WHL and had him at every arena.

Good Luck Theo